Tech UPTechnologyThe first 3D image of Jupiter's atmosphere

The first 3D image of Jupiter's atmosphere

New findings from NASA’s Juno probe orbiting Jupiter give us a more complete picture of how the planet’s distinctive and colorful atmospheric features offer clues to invisible processes beneath its clouds.

For centuries, Jupiterm’s famous, colorful, and chaotic atmosphere has intrigued astronomers seeking to understand the secrets behind its impressive cloud cover. Juno has completed 37 passes of Jupiter since arriving on the scene in 2016 , and these flybys have already revealed a set of fascinating insights about the gas giant.

“These new Juno observations open a treasure chest of new information about Jupiter’s enigmatic observable features,” says Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Division of Planetary Sciences at the agency’s Washington headquarters. “Each article sheds light on different aspects of the planet’s atmospheric processes, a wonderful example of how our internationally diverse scientific teams strengthen understanding of our solar system.”

Among the revelations is that some of the vortex storms circling Jupite r are much higher than expected and extend up to 100 km below the clouds. They also found that these cyclones are warmer at the top and cooler at the bottom due to different atmospheric densities, while the opposite is true with their anticyclones spinning in the opposite direction , like the Great Red Spot itself.

“Jupiter’s cyclones affect the movement of others, causing them to oscillate around an equilibrium position, ” clarifies Alessandro Mura, a Juno co-researcher at the National Institute of Astrophysics in Rome and a co-author of the work. “The behavior of these slow oscillations suggests that they have deep roots.”


Referencia: Science / Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

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